Contract Prediction: Mike Wallace
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Contract Prediction: Mike Wallace

With training camps now underway, one notable holdout is Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace. The writing has been on the wall since the Steelers offered Wallace only his 1 year $2.72 million restricted tender this March, and now neither side seem to be giving in at any cost.

Now the plot has thickened even more so with the shocking extension of fellow receiver Antonio Brown to a 5 year $42 million deal,clearly sending a message that the team can and will move on in the immediate future. Mark Kaboly from the Pittsburgh Tribune recently reporting that Wallace turned down a 5 year $50 million offer from the Steelers, sending any progress in negotiations back to square one.

Our experts take a look at the recent contracts signed by players of similar age and statistical production, formulating an official prediction for where the two sides could, and should agree on.

Comparable Wide Receivers
Player Length Value Avg. Salary Age When Signed
Brandon Marshall 5 $47.3 million $9.46 million 26
Santonio Holmes 5 $45 million $9 million 27
Greg Jennings 4 $26.8 million $11.25 million 26
Stevie Johnson 5 $36.25 million $7.25 million 26
Calvin Johnson 8 $150.5 million $16 million 26
Antonio Brown 6 $43.04 million $8.5 million 24
Wallace will be 26 on August 1st, so from that standpoint our variable receivers are in play. To determine a more likely starting point for our numbers, we'll perform a linear regression of the contract information listed above.

Definition: A linear regression is a formula that plots the provided points of data for Length and Value of the contracts, and then generates the best-fit line for those points, resulting in a "slope" value that translates to an average annual salary.
Length Value Average Salary
5.5 $63,711,597 $11,583,927
Statistical Analyzations
Now let's analyze these players statistically over their careers by showing Games/Season, Receptions/Season, Yards/Season, Yards/Game, and TD/Season. We'll also include statistics for the two years prior to that player signing his contract, to reflect a "prime" state he may have been in.
Brandon Marshall (CHI) Career Last 2 Seasons Prime %
Games/Season14.515.196%
Receptions/Season93.582.3114%
Rec Yards/Season10671041.2102%
Receiving Yards/Game73.5568.6107%
Receiving TD/Season6.55.7114%
107%
Santonio Holmes (NYJ) Career Last 2 Seasons Prime %
Games/Season1414.696%
Receptions/Season65.656.3117%
Rec Yards/Season997872.5114%
Receiving Yards/Game70.659.5119%
Receiving TD/Season5.55.796%
108%
Greg Jennings (GB) Career 2007-2008 Prime %
Games/Season14.614.599%
Receptions/Season64.8366.5103%
Rec Yards/Season10281106108%
Receiving Yards/Game70.175.6108%
Receiving TD/Season8.111136%
111%
Stevie Johnson (BUF) Career 2010-2011 Prime %
Games/Season1214117%
Receptions/Season42.579186%
Rec Yards/Season547.251038190%
Receiving Yards/Game45.664.95142%
Receiving TD/Season4.758.5179%
163%
Calvin Johnson (DET) Career 2010-2011 Prime %
Games/Season15.215.5102%
Receptions/Season73.286.5118%
Rec Yards/Season1174.41400.5119%
Receiving Yards/Game77.389.8116%
Receiving TD/Season9.814143%
120%
Antonio Brown (PIT) Career 2011-2011 Prime %
Games/Season1616100%
Receptions/Season6969100%
Rec Yards/Season11081108100%
Receiving Yards/Game69.369.3100%
Receiving TD/Season22100%
100%
Mike Wallace (PIT) Career 2010-2011 Prime %
Games/Season1616100%
Receptions/Season5766116%
Rec Yards/Season10681225115%
Receiving Yards/Game66.876.6115%
Receiving TD/Season89113%
112%

What we find here is that with the exception of Detroit's Calvin Johnson, all of these receivers were producing about 10% better in the years leading up to their contract when comparing to their career statistics. Antonio Brown has just one full season as a primary wide receiver, but to leave him out under the current circumstances seemed incorrect. We'll carry the 112% prime factor for Wallce through to our results.

Now let's see how Wallace's receiving statistics hold up against these players in the last two NFL seasons (2010, 2011) to flat out compare Wallace's recent value to them.

Receptions Last 2 Seasons Wallace % Difference
Marshall 82 66 -24%
Holmes 51.1 66 23%
Jennings 71.5 66 -8%
S.Johnson 79 66 -20%
C. Johnson 86.5 66 -31%
Brown 69 66 -5%
Average Difference -7%

Yards 2010-2011 Wallace % Difference
Marshall 1114 1225 9%
Holmes 700 1225 43%
Jennings 1107 1225 10%
S.Johnson 1038 1225 15%
C. Johnson 1400.5 1225 -14%
Brown 1108 1225 10%
Average Difference 12%

Yards/Game 2010-2011 Wallace % Difference
Marshall 74.15 76.6 3%
Holmes 42.9 76.6 44%
Jennings 76.05 76.6 1%
S.Johnson 64.95 76.6 15%
C. Johnson 89.8 76.6 -17%
Brown 69.3 76.6 10%
Average Difference 9%

Touchdowns 2010-2011 Wallace % Difference
Marshall 4.5 9 50%
Holmes 7 9 22%
Jennings 10.5 9 -17%
S.Johnson 8.5 9 6%
C. Johnson 14 9 -56%
Brown 2 9 78%
Average Difference 14%

Surprisingly what we're finding is that Wallace has indeed outperformed his receiving colleagues in all major statistics - with the exception of Calvin Johnson. These comparisons show that Wallace clearly does not belong in the conversation with Calvin Johnson and his recent contract numbers.

We'll re-address our initial linear regression, now WITHOUT including Calvin Johnson's contract information.

Length Value Average Salary
5 $39,705,906 $7,941,181
Let's factor in the 12% statistical prime we've determined Wallace to be producing at and see where our inflated numbers take us.
Length Value Average Salary
5 $44,470,614 $8,894,123
Results
Length of the Contract
At age 26, Wallace is just now about to enter his prime. Our results show that the contract SHOULD be signed for 5 years, but based on the recent extension for Antonio Brown (6 years), we'll add the extra year.

Value of the Contract
It's tough to place Wallace at "elite" money level when looking at his above average, yet small resume. That being said the name of the game is guaranteed money, so the overall value of the contract doesn't necessarily need to be "shocking" to make him happy. We'll round our final numbers from above up to a nice and readable $9 million per year.
Spotrac's Prediction: 6 years, $54,000,000

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